A blog from the Southern Ontario Library Service

A Competencies Based Work Plan

This is the fourth post in a series on competencies based professional development.

I was familiar with the SOLS competencies when I became Director at Bruce County Public Library earlier this year. Within my first week I went through the CEO sample profile and immediately knew I had to create a plan to ensure I developed or improved upon the skills required for the large scope of the Director role. I found the competencies included in the CEO sample provide the ideal framework for me to stay on track with the bigger picture.

I went through the competencies and highlighted the specific ones I felt were of the most immediate importance. I created a separate document with the competencies and the related activities. I added a timeline to these to give me something specific to work toward throughout the year.

Here is an example from my work plan:





C14: Planning

Designs and implements an ongoing planning process for the library

  1. Analyzes and investigates the needs of the community to anticipate and predict future needs.
  2. Checks for alignment with municipal/county council’s vision and priorities.
  3. Ensures long term goals and objectives align with daily decisions and operations.

2016 onward

Develops and implements an operational plan based on the library’s strategic plan

  1. Create an operational plan for one or more aspects of library service that is aligned with the library’s strategic plan.
  2. Consults with staff and other stakeholders in creating a plan that provides focus, operationalizes the strategic directions and improves library services.
  3. Assigns timelines and responsibility for designated tasks.
  4. Develops measure to evaluate progress in achieving the tasks set out in the operational plan.

Priority for 2016

Performs on going evaluation to gauge the success of the strategic plan

  1. Develops and applies appropriate methods to continually measure progress on achieving the strategic directions identified in the Strategic Plan.
  2. Communicates to management, the board, staff, and community on progress in meeting the strategic priorities.


Contributes to the planning efforts of the municipality or county & other community organizations

  1. Develops a thorough understanding of the strategic directions and community development initiatives of other agencies and organizations.

2016 onward

This work plan is immensely helpful in keeping me on track and focused on my log term plans. In total I have identified 6 competencies as priorities. I was recently asked to create a work plan for my annual performance evaluation and it was a very simple process because I already had the work plan based on the SOLS competencies. I just pulled three priority items from my existing document and I had measurable actions and goals for my 2016 performance evaluation. 

I’ve been working with my plan for the last 6 months and it is enormously useful. It’s easy to become consumed by the every day tasks and issues of library life. This document helps to pull me out of the weeds and look at the big picture.